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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 3, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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authorities in lancaster, texas, have charged another former iraq war veteran with killing chris kyle and a friend yesterday afternoon. last year kyle went public with his story sharing a riveting account on the battlefield in a memoir, "american sniper." at the time he sat down with me to talk about the dangers he confronted on a daily basis in iraq, dangers he could never have imagined facing at home. celebrated for the number of kills he made from behind the scope of his sniper rifle. at least 160. a number chris kyle told me a year ago was not the one he focused on. >> if i could figure out the number of people i saved, that's something i would brag about. >> reporter: after leaving the navy in 2009, he started a security company in his native texas. it was on a shooting range 50 miles out of fort worth that
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kyle and chad littlefield were shot to death. a former marine arrived with them and killed them with a semiautomatic handgun recovered at his sister's house and confessed to the murder before returning home. >> around 9:00 p.m. they spiked his tires. the vehicle was stopped, and he was apprehended without any scuffle or fight. >> reporter: the sheriff says his understanding is that ralph may suffer from mental problems related to his military service but offered no specifics or possible motive. much of kyle's time in iraq was spent providing sniper cover for u.s. troops in some of the war's most intense urban battles. >> every person i killed i have a clear conscience of, because
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they were actively trying to harm americans, allies or civilians. >> reporter: his skills earned him a reputation with insurgents. >> they put a bounty on your head. >> reporter: they did. you make it through four, five tours in combat and he comes back and dies like that. it's just a shame. chris kyle had recently spoken out against calls for broader gun controls accusing the president of being against the second amendment. kyle said he was raised to be patriotic. his co-author says chris struggled to determine how his life should be ordered. god, country, family, or god, family, country. that faith in god especially saw kyle through his last combat tour when he was shot twice. one bullet stopped by his body armor, the other deflected off his goggles. >> i have a guardian angel. i'm sure he hates me.
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i'd come home, break my toe when i went up the stair, but every time i went overseas kept he safe. >> reporter: chris kyle leaves behind a wife and two children. and playing out on several fronts, peter alexander that more from the white house. good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you. when the house released that photo showing the president firing a shotgun at camp david, it reignited that debate over guns. all sides weighed in. tomorrow in the first stop of his personal push for new gun restrictions, the president sits down with gun leaders in mississippi. minneapolis are where a gunman killed five last september. a state where nearly one in ten people hall a firearms hunting license. among those pressuring lawmakers for change, a gun control group founded by michael bloomberg.
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>> the nra once supported background checks. >> reporter: with his ad airing today during the super bowl, featuring lapierre. >> we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. no loopholes anywhere or for anyone. >> reporter: while polling show most nra members support universal background checks this morning lapierre argued against them claiming the checks on all gun sales to be universal registry of gun owners. >> it's going to be law abiding people caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare, and there's going to be abuse in terms of prosecutions, and it's all going to affect only the law-abiding people. the criminals could care less. >> too many children -- >> reporter: gabby giffords' husband mark kelly argued for tougher rules and stricter enforcement of the current system that has prevented
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7 million purchases since 1999. >> they should be prosecuted and there should be stiff penalties. >> reporter: meanwhile, the white house's release of this photo sat showing the president shooting clay pigeons at camp david last summer hasn't quieted critics. >> that picture makes him look like he's pandering. >> reporter: on a separate topic, during a live interview before the super bowl, the president weighed in on boy scouts allowing gays into the organization. he said they should, insisting that no one should be barred from what he described as a great institution. >> peter, thank you. turning overseas to the crisis in syria. its neighbor has a lot at stake not only in the civil war that drags on but in syria's support of militant groups that threaten israel. this past week israel apparently sent its warplanes across the border to conduct an air strike near damascus. skrael israel defense minister
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confirmed it. foreign correspondent richard engel has more from istanbul. >> reporter: as syrians fight over which kind of islam will ultimately govern that country, long fears that the fighting could spill into neighboring countries. now it seems the violence left unchecked could escalate well beyond beyond that. today syria was the focus of an international security conference in munich. there israel's defense minister said it was israel that launched an air strike last week. >> when we say something, we mean it. we say that -- we don't think should be allowed to bring advance systems into lebanon. >> reporter: israel attacked a convoy carrying sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles that were
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bound for hezbollah in lebanon. hezbollah and israel as sworn as enemies can be. in 2006, they fought a brutal war. israel does not want hezbollah to have these missiles which could shoot down fighter jets. but the syrian government which backs and facilitates weapons shipments to hezbollah released shipments of what it says was israel's target, a military research facility. they are both committed to standing up to zionist aggression and foreign plots. he's defiant, but syria is slowly imploding, and weapons are flowing in and out. the middle east hasn't been this unstable, analysts say, in years. the egyptian government is losing control. jordan is at risk. israel is carrying out strikes inside syria. iran is making threats. this could all unravel quickly. the war in syria isn't just about the syrians anymore.
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lester? >> richard engel, thanks. now to the situation in mali. one day after the french president was cheered for liberating the ancient city of timbuktu from militants, french forces in action again in the northern part of country. nbc's reporter is on the ground in timbuktu tonight. >> reporter: french fighter jets pounded arms depots and jihadist training camps, another major operation in this three-week long assault against al qaeda militants in the north of mali. 30 aircraft were involved in this operation to the north of key town. last time four somalians and french force. meanwhile, here in the legendary city of timbuktu, west african troops have been pouring in during the day to help to secure the outskirts of the city. meanwhile, the french troops have been moving out further into the desert.
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some were cheered as they went. at the end of this, the first week of freedom for the people of timbuktu for many, many months. lester? new details emerging tonight in the story of sarai sierra, a mother of two found murdered in istanbul, turkey this weekend. >> reporter: one day after the body of sarai sierra was found in istanbul's old city, the police chief confirmed the american tourist was murdered. the evidence clear, he says. sierra was killed by a blow to her head. police say they detained at least nine people for questioning including a man sierra may have communicated with online while in turkey. the 33-year-old mother of two and amateur photographer traveled alone to turkey in january after a girlfriend cancelled at the last minute. sierra's family said this was
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her first trip abroad. neighbors back home are stunned by her death. >> just praying and praying that this would have a happy outcome. >> reporter: authorities are working to retrace her steps and release this video showing sierra walking alone. at a shopping mall. video from the istanbul airport shows her going through security before taking a side trip to amsterdam. her family says she posted photos on instagram and her husband said she was in regular contact with him. he alerted authorities when she didn't return home as scheduled. >> i called united airlines, they stated she never boarded the flight, never arrived at the airport in turkey. >> reporter: her husband and her brother flew to turkey to help in the search. the state department is working closely with turkish government officials to help solve the mystery surrounding sierra's murder. michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. in alabama, the standoff involving a gunman holding a 5-year-old boy in an underground bunker is now in its sixth day.
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let's get the latest from gabe gutierrez has more. >> reporter: the boy has a mild form of autism, trapped underground more than 121 hours. they're communicating with the suspect bunt won't reveal a motive. he's held the boy captive since tuesday when he allegedly boarded a stopped school bus and demanded two children. when the bus driver refused, police say dykes shot and killed him before grabbing ethan. police are choosing words carefully, since it's possible dykes has access to television. also today, lester, mourners pay their respects at the funeral for that murdered bus driver. >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. in boston, dozens injured when a commuter bus filled with students and adults struck an overpass. some of the 39 passengers were trapped in the bus more than an
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hour and below freezing temperatures. the students were heading back to pennsylvania after a trip to harvard university. police say the driver was on the side of a highway reserved for cars, and failed to follow signs warning of a ten-foot height limit. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this sunday, high anxiety for a growing number of young people facing a huge burden of college debt. and later, we'll tell you why the nfl goes shopping at tiffany's.
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jits not a pretty picture for trying to find work in the
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struggling economy. many found themselves deep in the hole because of student loans. the problem is getting worse with a record number of delinquencies reported. we get more from miguel almaguer. >> reporter: a graduate >> reporter: a graduate student, 22-year-old astrid will be $160,000 in debt before she lands her first job. >> i feel like that number doesn't really process in my head yet. it's just an imaginary number i know i have to pay off. >> reporter: she is one of the 26 million americans saddled with a ballooning student loan. like her classmates, she worried without a job after graduation, she'll become part of the record number of former students who are now defaulting or delinquent paying back loans. >> honestly, i don't know how i'm going to do it. >> reporter: with college costs on the rise, student loan debt is at an all-time high. topping $870 billion surpassing credit card debt and even auto loans.
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now a new study shows one-third of former students are considered risky borrowers. graduates who don't pay back their bills. >> reporter: as many as half recent graduates are unemployed or more than likely under employed. the problem feeds on itself. that's what we're dealing with. that's why this is such an issue for the whole economy. >> reporter: with the average student more than $27,000 in debt, more than a million graduates wracked up an astonishing $100,000 in loans. >> a bunch of people who go to the school have that kind of money, but a lot of us don't. it's pretty difficult. >> reporter: next year astrid will get her diploma and her first student loan bill. >> i do have a sense of fear of, like, what am i going to do like, what am i going to do when i graduate? >> reporter: she's one of many college seniors worried about real-life lessons in economics that come after graduation. migel almaguer, los angeles. and gas prices shot up again.
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aaa says they're $3.90 on average in california. up more than 30 cents in's last month. nationally the average price is $3.51. an increase of more than 20 cents in the last month. when we come back here tonight, the battle of the bulge when it comes to losing weight. what works and what doesn't, really.
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it's been also over a month since the new year's resolutions to shed pounds in 2013. as you think how you're doing, consider this. a surprising new report in a prestigious medical journal claims notions on weight loss are just plain wrong. dr. nancy snyderman has more tonight. >> reporter: think long-term dieting will keep you thin? >> eat less. move more. >> reporter: or that sex can help you lose weight. >> i've learned sex can burn calories. >> reporter: gym class can prevent childhood obesity.
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>> reporter: working to separate fact from fiction when it comes to weight-loss. analyzing studies to highlight what they call myths, presumptions and facts about obesity which affects more than one-third of americans. >> our paper looked at a number of beliefs, we found either in some cases they were not true, according to the evidence available, and in other cases were neither known to the true nor known to be untrue, but there just wasn't enough evidence available. >> reporter: one of the seven myths that sex can burn hundreds of calories a at time. researchers found it's closer to 21 calories. >> don't tell her that. >> reporter: another, that big weight-loss goals set you up for failure. turns out if you set your mind to losing weight, you can. some myths are controversial. the study says phys-ed won't stop childhood obesity and losing weightly steadily isn't better than losing quickly. doctors question this. >> it is small changes where you
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see sustained weight loss and better health. >> reporter: the study was sponsored by jenny craig, coca-cola, and glaxosmithkline. >> where he found the best evidence for weight loss was in things like meal replacement drugs and bariatric surgery bringing up the whole question of the conflicts of interest. >> reporter: many experts agree on some of the facts the study cites including changes for long-term results and increased exercise improves health. what people really want to know. >> there needs to be more research on actual solutions. >> reporter: is how to shed the pounds for good. dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news, new york. if you thought losing weight was hard, try to get quality shut eye. according to a recent sleep study, february is the hardest month of the year to get a good sleep. darker days and longer nights contribute to an average sleep loss of eight minutes when compared to march.
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when we return, going shopping for silver. super bowl silver at tiffany's.
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along with the nhl stanley cup, the most widely known trophy, crown jewel, football. at the end of the night, after commercials have aired and the game clock runs out, one team will enter super bowl history when it receives the honor of
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hoisting it. nbc's brian shactman has more on the story behind the vince lombardi trophy. >> reporter: the vince lombardi trophy usually hoisted by the winners of the nfl super bowl and dating back to 1967 it's been made by jewelry icon tiffany's. >> original sketched on a cocktail napkin. >> reporter: tom o'rourke has been overseeing the operation for the better part of eight years. >> i feel like the luckiest guy at tiffany's. >> reporter: and knows all there is to know about tiffany and trophies. >> this is a regulation trophy. it stands 22 inches high, weighs about seven pounds. >> reporter: made entirely of sterling silver, sheets so big only a manufacturer in italy can satisfy the order, constructed in parsippany, new jersey, of all places. >> while it's a state-of-the-art in the corner where we're sitting, it is like turn of the century with some of the machines and equipment used.
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>> reporter: the first step in the four-month process of making the vince lombardi trophy starts right here. spinning, taking a sheet of silver and forming a football. then there are old school terms like silversmithing and chafing before the finished product is engraved, polished and ready go. >> it's made by local craftspeople who are employing crafts and skills that have really been around for, since the 1800s. >> reporter: the seven pounds of silver have a street value of about $3,500, but add in the skilled labor, tiffany brand and symbol of victory in the most watched game on the planet and the true value is a little difficult to assess. i would tell you that the trophy itself is priceless. >> reporter: after the game is over, as you might imagine, the trophy is passed around the winners for a while. then comes back to tiffany for a touchup and final engraving. sometimes a little worse for wear. >> the biggest issue, the champagne. >> reporter: it was enjoyed most
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after the saints won the 2010 game. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. for all of us at nbc news, good night.
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bay area fans are taking on the niners. >> good evening. i'm terry mcsweeney. >> the niners wait for the power to come back on at the superdome in new orleans. people in the restaurant in san francisco are packed. that mean more time for drinking. things look pretty peaceful from this view but police are already making arrests. nbc bay area's monty francis is there. what's the latest? >> reporter: even though the 49ers are behind, there is a lot of hope and excitement here. as you said, take a look here. the power went out at the superdome. the fans here are waiting for the game to get started again. now, given the size of the crowds gathering across the city tonight, officials are taking some precautions to prevent the party from getting out of hand and police are out in forceful in fact, take a look at some video we shot within the last hour.
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